What’s For Dinner – 1883 Edition No. 267

What’s For Dinner – 1883 Edition No. 267

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What’s for dinner? Here, we answer the question with a book published in 1883 by Marion Harland. The book contains a dinner menu for each day of the year.

This is for September, the fourth week, Sunday Dinner.  For an audio version, please visit my YouTube Channel.

On the menu for dinner:  Fancy Macaroni Soup, Fricasseed Chicken, Devilled Tomatoes, Spinach à la Crême, Sweet Potatoes, Browned.

On the menu for dessert:  Baked Pears and Cream and Orange Cake.


Take the fat from your soup-stock, add a pint of boiling water, and bring to a slow boil. Strain all through a colander. Pour off two quarts, through a soup-sieve, into your soup-kettle, and set over the fire to simmer clear.

Pulp the vegetables left in the colander, and press the juice out of the meat into the rest of the broth. Remand this to the stock-pot. When that in the soup kettle has boiled ten minutes, and been skimmed carefully, add a half cup of what is known as “fancy macaroni,” cut into fantastic shapes, expressly for soups. It should have been boiled twenty minutes, or until tender, in hot salted water. Simmer one minute in the soup, add seasoning, if needed, and serve.

Fricasseed Chicken

Clean, wash, and joint a pair of chickens. Salt the giblets slightly, and keep on ice until Monday, or, should the weather be warm, boil them in a pint of water, salt it well, and set away with the giblets in it. Scald the pieces of chicken in boiling water, leaving them in it four minutes. Lay in ice-water ten minutes, to blanch them. Add to the quart of boiling water used for scalding them, the skimmed fat, the necks , and the heads, cleaned by scalding, picking off the feathers and cutting off the beaks.

Stew for one hour , or until there is but a pint of gravy. Strain, cool, and take off the fat. Put two tablespoonfuls of butter into a sauce pan, with a very finely minced onion and a dessertspoonful of flour. When they begin to simmer, put in the joints of chicken, turn several times in the butter, and, after they begin to color, add enough gravy to keep them from scorching, and stew, covered, at least an hour. Keep the chicken hot, strain the gravy, add parsley, pepper, and salt. Have in another sauce pan a half cup of hot milk. Pour upon two beaten eggs, make very hot, and add to the gravy when you have taken the latter from the fire. Stir up, and pour over the chickens.

Spinach À La Creme

Boil a bunch of spinach in plenty of hot salted water, drain, and chop fine upon a board or in a wooden tray. Return to the sauce pan with a tablespoonful of butter, and when hot, add a little sugar, pepper, salt, nutmeg, and two tablespoonfuls of cream. Stir until very hot, and serve in a deep dish, with snippets of fried bread laid over it.

Devilled Tomatoes

1 quart fine ripe tomatoes, pared and cut in thick slices

yolks of 3 boiled eggs, pounded

3 tablespoonfuls melted butter

4 tablespoonfuls vinegar

1 raw egg, beaten light

1 teaspoonful powdered sugar

1 saltspoonful salt, and same of made mustard

A soupçon, French for a small amount, of cayenne.

Rub a tablespoonful of butter into the pounded yolks, add the seasoning, then the vinegar, and put into a tin or porcelain sauce pan. Heat and stir in the beaten egg. Set in boiling water while you heat the rest of the butter in a frying-pan, and put in the sliced tomatoes. Shake over the fire eight minutes, turning several times. Lay the tomatoes upon a hot dish. Strain the butter in which they were fried into the dressing, stir well, and pour over the tomatoes.


Parboil, peel, and lay in a baking-pan. Baste with a little of your soup stock, then with butter, until they are baked to a nice brown.


Peel ripe pears, and cut them in half, without removing the seeds. Pack in layers in a stoneware jar, Strew each layer with sugar, and drop a pinch of nutmeg in, now and then. Put a small cupful of water in the bottom to prevent burning. Fit on a close cover, and set in a moderate oven. Bake three hours on Saturday, and leave, unopened, in the oven all night. Set upon ice for some hours before you use them. Pour into a glass dish, and eat with cream. They are delicious if the pears are of fair quality.


3 tablespoonfuls butter

2 cups of sugar

Yolks of 5 eggs, whites of three, beaten separately the yolks strained through a sieve after they are whipped

1 cup of cold water

3 full cups of flour, enough for good batter

1 large orange, the juice, and half the grated peel

1/2 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water

1 teaspoonful cream of tartar, sifted in flour

Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs, beat in the orange, the water, soda, and stir in the flour quickly. Bake in jelly cake tins.

Filling For Orange Cake

Whites of two eggs, whisked stiff

1 cup powdered sugar

Juice, and half the peel of an orange

Whip very light, and spread between the cakes when cold. Reserve a little, and whip more sugar into it for frosting on top layer.

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